Friday, November 20, 2015

Audiobook Review: Dreamer's Pool by Juliet Marillier #BibPleaseReview #Fantasy #AceRocStars #Audiobook

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Title: Dreamer's Pool (Blackthorn & Grim #1)
Juliet Marillier
Narrator: Scott Aiello, Natalie Gold, & Nick Sullivan
Publisher: Roc (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Acquired Via:
Personal Collection

Award-winning author Juliet Marillier “weaves magic, mythology, and folklore into every sentence on the page” (The Book Smugglers). Now she begins an all-new and enchanting series that will transport readers to a magical vision of ancient Ireland...

In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.

With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.

My Review

Dreamer's Pool caught my eye last year when it came out, but I didn't get around to reading it until I received the sequel, Tower of Thorns, from the publisher. Since I love listening to fantasy audiobooks, I opted for that format, and I think it caused me to love the book all the more.

Since the voice actors are often left out of reviews, I want you to know first thing that the narrators of Dreamer's Pool are awesome. Nick Sullivan has an extremely deep voice that was a little jarring at first, but as I got to know the character, Grim, I realized that his voice was quite wonderful. If you listen to audiobooks at all, you know how important it is to the enjoyment of the story to have good actors, and Dreamer's Pool will not disappoint you.

I went into reading/listening to Dreamer's Pool thinking it was just a typical fantasy novel. That is not the case at all. The Blacksthorn & Grim novels are mysteries at heart, and I'm almost tempted to classify them as historical because they're set in ancient Ireland. I mention the mystery part because it's up to Blackthorn and Grim to help Oran figure out the various issues that he is having with his betrothed. They must do this while also navigating their very serious issues (namely PTSD) from their imprisonment together and tragic pasts.

Blackthorn is a very difficult character to like. As readers, we get to see some of her issues very early in the story. However, she is so closed off and bullheaded, she doesn't really make you warm up to her. At first. Grim, on the other hand, is instantly likable, and it's seeing Blackthorn through his eyes that made me appreciate her. I guess it should go without saying that they have good chemistry with each other, even though they don't talk about their pasts or let each other in. Let's just say things are a little complicated between the two of them.

Dreamer's Pool a fresh new spin on fantasy, and I'm excited to continue the series. Blackthorn and Grim are two characters that I need to know better.

- 5/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond
Google Play | iTunes | Kobo

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Kim's Quotes She Loved From Books She Read In The Past Year Or So


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Kim's Top Ten Favorite Quotes From Books She's Read in the Past Year

1. Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir by Stephanie Klein
"Tell the truth, or someone will tell it for you."

2. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
"The saddest people I've ever met in life are the ones who don't care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there's nothing to make it last."

Monday, November 9, 2015

Review and Interview: The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst @sarahbethdurst @HMHKids

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Title: The Girl Who Could Not Dream
Sarah Beth Durst
Publisher: Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Release Date: November 3, 2015

Sophie's favorite place in the world is the hidden shop beneath her parent's bookstore where dreams are bought and sold to select and secretive strangers. Sophie is fascinated by dreams -- weird, scary, or magical -- in part because she has never had a single dream of her own.

When the shop's dreams are stolen and her mother and father go mysteriously missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save her parents. Together with her best friend -- a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster -- she must decide who to trust with her family's carefully-guarded secrets. Who will help them, and who will betray them?


Amber: Thank you so much for stopping by Bibliophilia, Please again for your newest book! Please tell us what has been going on since your last stop?

Sarah Beth Durst: Lots of writing!

I've pretty much pared down my life these days to (1) writing and (2) spending time with my family. Also eating. And sleeping. And last weekend I watched too many episodes of Tiny House Hunters because I simply cannot imagine my book collection ever fitting in a house like that and I was fascinated. But I'm counting that as "spending time with my family" because I didn't watch alone.

Amber: What should we know about your new book, The Girl Who Could Not Dream?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: The Slush Pile Brigade by Samuel Marquis #mystery #giveaway @KHeniadis


Title: The Slush Pile Brigade (Nick Lassiter #1)
Author: Samuel Marquis
Publisher: Samuel Marquis Books, LLC
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Acquired Via: Publisher

On his thirtieth birthday, Nick Lassiter has lost his girlfriend and his job, is wanted by the police, and has discovered that his unpublished thriller, Blind Thrust, has been stolen and turned into a blockbuster movie called Subterranean Storm. Even worse, the movie is based on a soon-to-be best-selling novel by Australian thriller writer Cameron Beckett, one of the world’s biggest brand name authors. Rather than seek revenge through a financial settlement or public humiliation, Lassiter sets out for New York to obtain mea culpas from Beckett and his renowned literary agent, whom he is certain colluded with the Aussie in stealing his debut novel.

Unexpectedly aided by his CIA father, Director of the Russian Counterintelligence Desk, and his former girlfriend turned CIA-informant, Lassiter and his comrades take to calling themselves the Slush Pile Brigade. Outmatched and outgunned, they are foiled at virtually every turn but still they are determined to win. But will justice be attained? Can they prove that Beckett and his crooked literary agent have stolen Lassiter’s blockbuster novel and are undeservedly reaping the success? And more importantly, will they solve one of the most important counterintelligence cases in CIA history and actually live to tell about it?

My Review

I had never really thought about all the books that are sent to editors, and don’t get printed. But Samuel Marquis not only did, but wrote a fast-paced thriller that gives us a glimpse into the world of publishing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Blog Tour (Review): The Determined Heart by Antoinette May #TLCBookTours #historicalfiction #MaryShelley #Frankenstein


Title: The Determined Heart: The Tale of Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein
Antoinette May
Publisher: Lake Union Press (Amazon Publishing)
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours

The Determined Heart reveals the life of Mary Shelley in a story of love and obsession, betrayal and redemption.

The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley had an unconventional childhood populated with the most talented and eccentric personalities of the time. After losing her mother at an early age, she finds herself in constant conflict with a resentful stepmother and a jealous stepsister. When she meets the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she falls deeply in love, and they elope with disastrous consequences. Soon she finds herself destitute and embroiled in a torturous love triangle as Percy takes Mary’s stepsister as a lover. Over the next several years, Mary struggles to write while she and Percy face ostracism, constant debt, and the heartbreaking deaths of three children. Ultimately, she achieves great acclaim for Frankenstein, but at what cost?

My Review

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite novels, but I've not had much luck with anything written about her life. Since I've been craving historical fiction, and Amazon Publishing puts out some pretty stellar books, I figured that I should give The Determined Heart a chance. Believe it or not, I got exactly what I was looking for.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (124): Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh #WaitingonWednesday #WoW @epicreads

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Ivory and Bone
Julie Eshbaugh
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 14, 2016

The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.

Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.

When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

I loved me some A. A. Attanasio in my teen years, and this just reminded me of that! I hope Ivory and Bone is at least nearly as good as that old school prehistoric fantasy!

What are you waiting on this week?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Review: The Vampire Combat Field Guide by Roger Ma #BibPleaseReview #ColoringBook #Giveaway @penguinrandom @nita_basu


Title: The Vampire Combat Field Guide
Roger Ma
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Acquired Via:

In The Vampire Combat Manual, Roger Ma, the nation’s preeminent expert in undead warfare, prepared the average citizen to defend against a brutal vampire attack. But without appropriate training, even the most adept slayer of bloodsuckers can be left vulnerable.

Therefore, the Institute for Undead Combat Studies has once again created an essential practice handbook for anyone seeking to avoid serious injury, infection, or death at the hands of a vampire. This comprehensive guide includes:

  • Detailed illustrations to aid in identifying various types of the undead and their vulnerabilities, as well as anatomical drawings you can color to promote knowledge retention
  • Interactive mental and physical exercises that will teach invaluable fighting techniques and prepare you for battle
  • Work pages to hone weapon selection, defensive and offensive techniques, and precise staking strategies
  • and much more!
With the proper preparation, no one need fear death by exsanguination or an eternity spent in darkness. Learn to ward off these bloodthirsty creatures while you can—or say good-bye to your days in the sun...

My Review

When I was offered a review copy of The Vampire Combat Field Guide, I was excited because I have a lot of hope for this new trend of adult coloring books. While it was not exactly what I was looking for, it's a pretty fun little coloring and activity book.

Instead of crayons, I chose to go with colored pencils for my time spent with the book. The illustrations are pretty detailed, and I don't think it would be feasible to try to use crayons or markers. There is a good deal of shading in the illustrations already, so I think colored pencils are the only thing to use.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (123): The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye #WaitingonWednesday #WoW @EpicReads

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: The Crown's Game
Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Release Date: May 17, 2016

Vika Andreyev can summon the snow and turn ash into gold.

Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air.

They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, a duel of magical skill. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Oh, please don't let this be like The Night Circus! I very much enjoy magical books, and I may even like a magical competition. *crosses fingers*

What are you waiting on this week?